Christmas Bread

Source: Mrs. Adkins (1970)
Prep time: 2 11⁄12 hoursCooking time: 40 minutesTotal time: 3 7⁄12 hours


1 pk
active dry yeast
1⁄4 c
2 c
scalded milk
2 T
2 t
1 T
6 c
all-purpose flour (sifted, up to 6 1/4 c)
1⁄4 lb
1 pk
Christmas fruit
1 pk
red candied cherries
1⁄2 c
almonds (sliced)


Soften yeast in warm water. Combine hot milk, sugar, salt and shortening. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in 2 cups flour; beat well. Add yeast, fruit, cherries and almonds. Mix. Add enough of remaining flour to make moderately stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and satiny, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape into ball. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover: let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down. Let rise again until double, about 45 minutes. Cut dough into 2 portions. Shape each in smooth ball; cover and let rise 10 minutes., Shape loaves; place in 2 greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x2 1/2-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Bake in hot oven at 375 for 40 minutes. After cooled, ice with powdered sugar icing and decorate with cherry halves and almonds in flowers.